Colorado Mountain College this week will award 58 bachelor’s degrees — a first for the community college that has 11 campuses in the central and northern mountains.

The 2010 legislature gave CMC the power to award four-year degrees in a limited number of fields, and the college launched programs in business administration and sustainability studies in the fall of 2011. The students graduating this week combined previous credits with CMC studies to earn their degrees.

The CMC bill passed easily three years ago. Things were different this year, when heavy lobbying pressure from four-year schools led to the defeat of Senate Bill 13-165, which would have allowed the state community college system to offer a limited number of four-year degrees in technical subjects.

CMC is a local district junior college, meaning it raises revenue from property taxes and receives only a limited amount of state funding.